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Full text of "Memorial address on life and character of Lieutenant General D. H. Hill, May 10th, 1893"

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MAY lOih, 1893. 



-S & Brouqhton. Power Printers and Binders. 












Lieutenant General D. H. HILL, 

MAY 10th, 1893. 

^ Hon. A'^^Qir AVERY, 



Edavards & Brocghton, Power Printers and Binders. 




In Exchange 
Duke University 
- JUL I 2 1933 


Ladies of the Memorial Association, Comrades, Gentlemen: 

Measured by the average length of human life, ahiiost a 
generation has passed away since the tocsin of war was 
sounded thirty years ago and aroused in conservative old 
North Carolina such a furor of excitement as no pen can 
portray and no tongue describe. As years have rolled by 
the reaper has gathered and the angels have garnered the 
ripened sheaves. One by one the spirits of our old heroes 
have passed over the river to again rally around their sainted 
leaders, Lee, Jackson and Hill, and join them in endless 
pteans to the Prince of Peace for achieving the most sublime 
of all great victories. Twenty years ago the space allotted 
to the soldiers at these annual gatherings was filled for the 
most part by comrades rejoicing in the exuberant vigor of 
young manhood. The eye of your orator searches in vain 
to-day among the silvered heads, that fill the space allotted 
to the old soldiers, for the manly forms of those friends of 
his boyhood and comrades of his young manhood, Basil 
Manly, Richard Badger, Phil. Sasser and James McKimmon, 
true and tried soldiers, who were as conspicuous for their 
courage in the hour of danger as for their loyalty to the 
sacred memories of the past when our banner had been for- 
ever furled. 

These object lessons constrain those of us who are now 
distinctively known as old veterans, to remember that the 
mention of the stirring days of sixty-one reminds the majority 
of this audience of no such vivid scenes as pass in review 
before the imaginations of the old soldier and the wives, 
sisters and daughters whose hands in all these years have 
trimmed the turf and whose tears have moistened the im- 
mortelles that cover the resting places of our loved and 
honored dead. 

Seven States South of us had solemnly asserted their right 
under the Constitution to sever their connection with the 
Federal Union, and had, through their representatives in 
convention, established the provisional government of the 
new Confederacy, with Montgomery, Alabama, as its capital 
city. But North Carolina, with characteristic conservatism, 
still clung to the federative union of States, which was con- 

ceived in the patriotic resolves of Mecklenburg, and ulti- 
mately established by the timely strategy and heroic valor 
of her volunteer troops at Kings Mountain and Guilford 
Court House. In 1789 she had awaited further assurance 
and guaranty that her rights as a sovereign State would be 
respected and protected before she w^ould agree to enter into 
the more perfect union then formed. In 1861 she adhered 
to that union and stood under the legis of the old flag till 
those in whose custody the political revolution of the pre- 
vious year had placed it, had alread}' broken the compact 
and attempted tlie subjugation of her sister States. 

The defiant answer of Governor Ellis to Lincoln's demand 
for North Carolina's quota of Federal soldiers, and his 
prompt call for volunteers to support oar kindred and man 
our forts, went to the people on the wings of the wind. Tele- 
grams, trains, single engines, pony express and runners were 
so effectually employed as to reach every precinct and every 
hamlet in three or four days. South Carolina had been 
invaded and every voice demanded that the invader should 
be resisted to the dea'h. The response of the clan to the 
bearer of Vich Alpine's bloody croslet was not more ready 
nor supported by a more determined coutage than was that 
of the brave sons of our grand old State to the call of her 
chosen chief. In a little while drums were beating, bands 
were playing, girls were singing, boys were shouting, flags 
were flying, orators were appealing, and stalwart men were 
weeping. But behind all this the firm resolve of the volun- 
teer to do or die found an echo even in the heart of the wife 
and mother. The widow without a murmur committed her 
only boy to the keeping of the orphan's God, as she proudly 
imprinted a parting kiss upon his brow, while the woe of the 
bride was tempered with that admiration which is the tribute 
of beauty to bravery, as she gave a last embrace to one to 
whom she had but yesterday plighted her faith. The stately 
Southern dames and the petted damsels, whose soft hands had 
seldom plied needle before, found their greatest pleasure 
then in deftly working upon caps, haversacks and knapsacks, 
as at a later day in cutting and stitching the coarse clothing 
intended for our brave bo3'S. 

The organized bodies of citizen soldiery from all parts of 
the State, such as the Rowan Rifles, the Wilmington Light 
Infantry and the Oak City Guards were sent hastily to the 
unoccupied forts on our coast. As the other companies thus 
hurriedly equipped rushed to the capital to tender their ser- 

vices, all eyes were turned to an adopted son of the State, 
whose education at West Point and brilliant career in Mexico 
bad placed bim easily at tbe bead of ber citizen soldiery — 
and Daniel Harvey Hill was called to the command of her 
first camp of instruction. 


He was born in York District in the State of South Caro- 
lina on tbe 21st of July, 1821. He traced his descent neither 
from the Cavaliers of England nor from tbe Huguenots of 
France, but from tbe sturdy sons of liberty-loving Scotland, 
who migrated to the north of Ireland and ultimately planted 
colonies in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and Soutb Caro- 
lina, where they educated, elevated and dominated the people 
with whom they came in contact. His paternal grandfather, 
William Hill, a native of Ireland, bad landed in Pennsyl- 
vania and moving South with the stream of Scotch-Irish 
that populated the valley of Virginia and Western North 
Carolina, built, with Colonel Hayne as bis partner, in 1770 
an iron foundry in York District, which within the next 
decade was the only point south of Virginia where cannons 
were cast for the use of tbe colonial armies. He was Colonel 
of a regiment in Sumpter's brigade and fought gallantly 
under bim in many engagements. While Colonel Hill was 
confined to bis home by a wound received in battle, a 
detachment was sent from the British force at Charleston to 
destroy bis foundry, and be barely escaped with bis life b}^ 
biding under a large log and covering himself with leaves. 
When the battle of Kings Mountain was fought, Colonel 
Hill's command bad been disbanded, but be went to tbe field 
as a volunteer and was honored by being invited to tbe 
council held by Campbell, Sevier, McDowell, and other dis- 
tinguished regimental commanders, to determine tbe plan of 
attack. He made a number of suggestions that were adopted 
and proved the value of bis opinion as a soldier. For twenty 
years after tbe war Colonel Hill was tbe trusted representa- 
tive of bis district in the State Senate of South Carolina and 
was the intimate friend of Patrick Calhoun, the father of tbe 
great statesman and orator, John C. Calhoun. General Hill's 
mother was Nanc}' Cabeen, the daughter of Thomas Cabeen, 
a native Scotchman, who was Sumpter's trusted scout and 
"tbe bravest man in his command," as tbe General himself 
often declared. Two uncles of General Hill were soldiers in 


the second war with England, and one of them was the 
Adjutant of Colonel Arthur P. Hayne's regiment. Solomon 
Hill, his father, died when his son Harvey was but four 
years old, leaving him with four other children to be reared 
by a mother who was noted for her piety, culture, common 
sense and devotion to her children. Like all Scotch and 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of the old school, she exacted of 
her sons the most rigid observance of the Sabbath. Dr. 
John Hill, a somewhat wayward brother of General Hill, 
often declared, after he had reached middle age, that during 
his boyhood he always " took the blues on Thursday morn- 
ing because Sunday was coming." The boys were required, 
each in his turn, to select and read a morning prayer when 
the family assembled for breakfast. Some of General Hill's 
heartiest laughs were 'provoked by the recollection of the 
ludicrous mistakes made by this little brother in his efforts 
to find and read the shortest petition in the book without 
regard to its fitness for the occasion. 

Sprung from a race of soldiers by the paternal as well as 
the maternal line, it is not strange that the earliest ambition 
of D. H. Hill led him to seek for a place at West Point and 
to look forward to a military career. Under the rigid phys- 
ical examination now prescribed for an applicant, he would 
have been rejected without hesitation. He entered the insti- 
tution in 1838, and but for feeble health, would have pressed 
to the very front of a class of which Generals Longstreet, 
A. P. Stewart, G. W. Smith, R. H. Anderson and Van Dorn 
of the Confederate, and Rosecranz, Pope, Sikes, Doubleday, 
Stone and Reynolds of the Federal array were members. 


Graduating in 1842, he was still a Second Lieutenant when 
he was ordered with his command into active service in 
Mexico in August, 1845. During the three succeeding years 
he participated in nearly every battle fought by our forces 
under the command of either Scott or Taylor, and always 
attracted the notice of his superior officers by his conspicu- 
ous courage. He soon rose to the rank of First Lieutenant, 
and for gallant conduct at Contreras and Cherubusco, was 
breveted Captain. At Chepultepec he volunteered with the 
storming party, and so distinguished himself among the 
scores of brave men who participated with him in that des- 
perate assault as to win for himself a second brevet as Major. 

He was one of the six officers in the whole force employed 
in Mexico who were twice breveted for meritorious service 
upon the field. Animosity, envy and a disposition to indulge 
in carping criticism have led to many unjust reflections upon 
General Hill, but the most unscrupulous of his detractors 
never questioned his courage or his integrity. When the 
legislature of his native State provided by law that three 
swords should be awarded to the three bravest of her soldiers 
who had survived the war with Mexico, many letters and 
testimonials from the officers of the old army were volunta- 
rily sent to the Chief Executive, naming D. H. Hill as among 
the bravest soldiers in the arm}^ of the United States. Among 
the few of these testimonials still extant is the letter from 
the gallant Bee, who, in exclaiming a moment before he fell 
at Manassas, " There stands Jackson like a stonewall," gave 
to the great leader the pet name by which his soldiers called 
him and the world knows him, and thereby made himself 
immortal as its author. The letter addressed to General 
Dunavant on the 26th of October, 1856, is as follows: 

It gives me great pleasure to add my mite of praise to that which has 
ah-eady been given to Mr. Hill by his military superiors. I had the 
pleasure of knowing him intimately and serving with him in the storm- 
ing party detailed from Twigg's division for the attack on Chepultepec. 
I can bear full testimony to his gallantry and to his ardent desire to do 
his duty well. In addition, I can testify to his State pride, evinced in 
his going up under a heavy fire to congratulate and praise a member of 
the Palmetto regiment, who was behaving under fire most gallantly. 
For his services on that day he received honorable mention from his 
immediate commanders and also from Colonel McGruder, commanding 
a light battery, which battery Lieutenant Hill offered to support, when 
it was menaced by a body of Mexican lancers. He received the brevet 
appointment of Major and was considered a loss to the service when he 

Your obedient servant, 

Captain U. S. Army. 

From the scores of her surviving heroes of the Palmetto 
regiment and in the regular army the committee appointed 
by the State authorities selected Hill to receive one of the 
three swords awarded, and it is still preserved by his family. 

After the close of the late war a Federal soldier wrote to 
General Joseph E. Johnston, asking the name of a Confed- 
erate officer who, on the right of our army at Seven Pines, 
had made himself most conspicuous for his daring and 
indifference to danger. The only mark of distinction which 
he could give General Johnston was that he thought the 

officer rode a white horse. General Johnston replied that he 
supposed the officer referred to must have been General D. H. 
Hill. In writing to General Hill about the matter, General 
Johnston said : " I drew my conclusion that j^our horse might 
very well have been taken for white and that no man was 
more likely to expose himself than you. Do you know that 
in Mexico the young officers called you the bravest man in 
the army ?" 


When the war with Mexico ended Major Hill resigned 
his place in the army to accept the professorship of Mathe- 
matics in Washington College at Lexington, Virginia. Before 
assuming the duties of that place he was happily married, 
November 2d, 1852, to Isabella, oldest daughter of Rev. Dr. 
R. H. Morrison, and granddaughter of General Joseph Gra- 
ham, who was a distinguished soldier of the Revolution and 
the father of Governor William A. Graham. Six years later 
he was invited to take the same professorship at Davidson 
College, where for five years he was looked upon as the lead- 
ing sjjirit amongst a corps of able and learned professors. 

D. H. Hill was not a politician in the sense of aspiring to 
office or attempting to mould public opinion ; but when he 
saw that the leaders of the North had determined that no 
Southernor should be allowed to take his slaves to the terri- 
tory wrested from Mexico by the blood and treasure of the 
South as well as the North, he believed that the irrepressible 
conflict which Seward declared at a later day was being 
waged had then begun, and would be settled only upon the 
bloody field of battle and after a prolonged, sanguinary and 
doubtful struggle. 

Fully persuaded that the inevitable conflict was near at 
hand, and that it was his solemn duty to prepare the rising 
generation of his adopted State to meet it, he in 1859, gave 
up his pleasant home and his congenial duties at Davidson 
College for those of commandant and manager of the Mili- 
tary Institute at Charlotte. 

He harbored no unkind thought of the noble men and 
women of the North who held opinions different from his 
own. He respected even the honest fanatic, who fairly and 
openly contended for his convictions; but he hated cant and 
hypocrisy, despised duplicity and dishonesty, and leveled at 
them his most effective weapons, ridicule and sarcasm. For 


that portion of our Northern brethren who came to the South 
to drive hard bargains with our people and cheat them by 
false pretences, he felt and expressed the most sovereign con- 
tempt. For the men of the North who coveted the wealth 
of the Southern planter, and the women who envied their 
Southern sisters because of the ease and leisure incident to 
the ownership of slaves, he made no attempt to conceal his 
hatred and disgust. 

Major Hill brought with him to Raleigh his three profes- 
sors, Lee, Lane and McKinney, two of whom fell later at 
the head of North Carolina regiment?, and one of whom was 
the successor of the noble Branch as the commander of one 
of our best and bravest brigades. He also brought with him 
almost the whole corps of cadets, whose services proved inval- 
uable as drill-masters of the ten thousand volunteers then in 
the camp of instruction of which Hill took charge. For his 
services in the camp of instruction. General Hill was allowed 
to select twelve companies to compose the first regiment of 
volunteers. The officers of these companies were all leading 
and influential citizens, and the rank and file were among 
the first young men in the State in intelligence, wealth and 
social position. The service of six months proved a train- 
ing-school for that splendid body of volunteers, that ulti- 
mately placed them at the head of companies, regiments, 
brigades and divisions. Among its original officers were 
Major General Hoke, Brigadier Generals Lane and Lewis, 
Colonels Avery, Bridgers, Hardy, W. W. McDowell, J. C. S. 
McDowell, Starr, Pemberton, Fuller, and a score of others, 
while a number from the rank and file fell at the head of 
both companifs and regiments at later stages of the struggle. 

In the outset of this discussion of the career of D. H. Hill 
as a Confederate soldier, I lay down and propose to maintain 
the proposition that from the time when he fought the first 
fight of the war with North Carolina soldiers on Virginia 
soil till the day he led the last attacking column of Confede- 
rates east of the Mississippi and checked Sherman's advance 
at Bentonsville, whatever may have been the general result 
of an}^ engagement, the command of General L). H. Hill was 
never found when the firing ceased at night in the rear of 
the position it occupied when the signal of attack sounded 
in the morning. Apparently reckless in the exposure of his 
own person, no officer in our armies was more anxious about 
the health, happiness and safety of his soldiers. His theory 
was that spades were instruments of defensive, bayonets of 


offensive warfare, and whether the emergency demanded the 
use of the one or the other, it was to he done with " might and 
main." When his cadets had asked him whether they should 
join South Carolina regiments before their own State seceded, 
he had prophesied that the war would soon begin and would 
continue long enough to give every Soutlierner an oppor- 
tunity to displa}'' his manhood. He rested his ho[)e of suc- 
cess upon the belief that every son of the South would rush 
to the rescue ; that our armies would be supplied by the 
labor of our slaves, and that we would thus be enabled to 
throw a force into the field sufficient to meet every Northern 
man, who would tender his services tc the Federal government. 
Two important elements were wanting as a basis of his calcu- 
lations — the Southern loyalist and the foreign substitute. 
When, therefore. General D. H. Hill reported to Colonel J. B. 
McGruder, then in charge of the Peninsula, and was assigned 
to the command of the defences of Yorktown, he realized, in 
a measure at least, the magnitude of the coming contest. 

It has been said that a man who is himself born to com- 
mand is c[uick to perceive in others the Cjualities that fit 
them for leadership Colonel Hill seemed almost intuitively 
to descry in the ranks the coolness, courage, judgment and 
power of prompt decision which others recognized in his 
favorites after they had led brigades and divisions to victory. 
On assuming command at Yorktown he soon discovered that 
the cavalry, which he looked upon as the " eye and the ear 
of the army," was inefficient, because the force was composed 
of a number of detached companies without a trained or effi- 
cient commander. In this emergency an officer of the old 
army, who had been commisiioned Lieutenant in the regular 
army of the Confederate States, reported for duty. Marking 
him as a man of promise. Colonel Hill at once caused an 
order to be issued placing "Major John B. Hood" in com- 
mand of all the cavahy, and waited for the War Department 
to ratify the promotion and thus protect him in practicing a 
pardonable ruse on the volunteers. That officer ultimately 
succeeded Lieutenant General D. H. Hill as the commander 
of a corps, and was still later placed in charge of the army of 
Tennes;ee. The Providence that has provided homes for 
his orphan children will in its own good time bring to light 
all the facts, and then John B. Hood will stand vindicated 
before the world as one of the best and bravest of all our 
leaders. It was this same gift that enabled General Hill to 
select from the lieutenants of his regiment Robert F. 


Hoke to be made Major of his regiment over ten com- 
petent captains. It was this intuitive perception of persistent 
pluck, dash and coohiess that prompted him to love and 
honor George B. Anderson, William R. Cox, Bryan Grimes, 
Stephen D. Ramseur and Robert D. Johnston, and led him 
later to urge the advancement of Gordon, Colquitt and Doles, 
of Georgia. In June, 180 1 (a few days after the fight at 
Bethel), in a letter to his wife he said of Stonewall Jackson, 
then a Colonel in command of a brigade, " I see that Jackson 
has had an engagement and taken many prisoners. I have 
predicted all along that Colonel Jackson would have a 
prominent place in the war." 


On the 6th of June, 1861, Colonel Hill, then at Yorktown, 
was ordered to make a reconnoisance in force in the direc- 
tion of Fortress Monroe, and moved down with his own regi- 
ment and four companies of Richmond Howitzers under the 
command of Major G. W. Randolph (afterwards Secretary of 
War), to Little Bethel church. Receiving information that 
Butler's forces were preparing to move up the Peninsula, 
Colonel Hill fell back to Big Bethel church, where, with a 
small branch of Black river on his front and right flank and 
an almost impenetrable forest on his left, he used twenty-five 
spades and several hundreds of bayonets during the night in 
making an enclosed work. Ben. Butler had started 5,000 
men in three columns, with the confident expectation that 
two of the detachments would travel by roads passing north 
and south of the position at Little Bethel and form a junc- 
tion two or three miles in rear of it, where the roads traveled 
by the two came together, while Duryea's regiment of 
Zouaves would engage Hill in front till the other columns 
should unite and then press him in the rear in his expected 
retreat. Two of the detachments mistook each other in the 
night and engaged in a skirmish in which two men were 
killed and eight wounded. The Zouaves, instead of " fol- 
lowing immediately upon the heels" of the fugitive rebels, 
as contemplated by Butler, turned back and fled precipitately 
on hearing the firing in front of their own reserve line. 

On the next day they again moved forward and attacked 
the force at Big Bethel, Colonel McGruder having mean- 
time arrived with Carey's battalion of infantr}'. The whole 
force engaged on the Confederate side was 800 North Caro- 


linians and 400 Virginians; on the Federal, 3,500 with 1,500 
to 2,500 in reserve. After preliminary skirmishing lor about 
two hours, and an attack that lasted two and a-half hours 
longer, the enemy retreated in great confusion with a loss of 
probably 50 killed and 300 wounded, and were so hotly pur- 
sued by our cavalry that they scattered guns, haversacks and 
knapsacks till they crossed a bridge and stopped the pursuit 
by destroying it. The names of no soldiers of North Caro- 
lina should be inscribed in a more prominent place on the 
monument to be erected to her heroic dead than those of 
Henry L. Wyatt, the first offering of the Sjuth to the Lost 
Cause, and his three comrades, who rushed forward in a hail 
of shot and shell to destroy a house where the sharpshooters 
of the enemy had taken slielter. Judging of its importance 
by the numbers engaged and the losses on both sides the 
battle of Bethel scarcely rose above the dignity of a skirmish ; 
yet few events in the early history of the war had a more 
important influence upon the contests of the following year. 
The splendid bearing of our soldiers sent a thrill of pride to 
every Southern heart, and when the first battle of Manassas 
was fought, less than a month later, our soldiers moved for- 
ward in the confidence that Southern pluck would again 
prevail over a foe that had shown so little dash and confi- 
dence in this encounter. 

There was on the Federal side at least one stout leader, 
who displayed the spirit of a hero. When Major Theodore 
Winthrop fell within fifteen feet of our line bravely leading 
a regiment in the charge, even a generous foe felt that he 
was worthy to bear the name of the two Winthrops by whose 
courage and judgment Americans had first gained a foot- 
hold in this country. 


To know D. H. Hill as the soldier of iron nerve, who rode 
unmoved in showers of shot and shell, or rebuked in scathing 
terms a laggard or a deserter, was to understand nothing of 
his true nature. When the battle of Bethel was over and 
others were feasting or carousing. Hill had fallen ui)on his 
knees and was returning thanks to Almighty God who, he 
believed, directed the course of every deadly missile hurled 
by the enemy with the same unerring certainty that ordered 
the movements of the multitudes of worlds in the universe, 
and into whose keeping he daily committed himself, his wife 


and little ones, his staff and his soldiers with the calm reli- 
ance of a child, that as a kind father he would provide what 
was best for him and them. 

On the day after the fight at Bethel he wrote his wife : 
" I have to thank God for a great and decided victory and 
that I escaped with a slight contusion on the knee. * * It 
is a little singular that my first battle in this war should be 
at Bethel where I was baptized and worshipped till I was 
sixteen years old, the church of mj mother. Was she not 
a guardian spirit in the battle, averting ball and shell? Oh 
God, give me gratitude to Thee, and may we never dishonor 
Thee by weak faith !" Still later he wrote his wife : " I look 
for a battle about the first of October. Pray for me that I 
may be well. (He was then in delicate health.) * * We are 
in the hands of God and as safe on the battlefield as any- 
where else. We will be exposed to a heavy fire, but the arm 
of God is mightier than the artillery of the enemy." 

After the battle Governor Ellis issued a commission of 
Brigadier General to him, as Governor Letcher had done at 
an earlier date in the case of Jackson, but President Davis 
delayed giving him the appointment till September, 1861. 
'The response to a letter from his wife written during this 
interval in which she complained of the delay, shows how 
little the outer world understood his character or his motives. 
"You must not be concerned about my commission (he 
wrote). I feel too distrustful of my own skill, coolness and 
judgment. I have never coveted and always avoided posi- 
tions of trust and responsibility. The offices that I have 
held have not been of my seeking." 


Upon receiving his commission as a Brigadier in Septem- 
ber, 1861, the first work assigned to him was the command 
of the coast of North Carolina with the duty, as far as possi- 
ble, of constructing fortifications wherever necessary. Hope- 
less as was the task assigned General Hill, he brought all of 
his energies to bear upon it, and during the few months that 
he remained in North Carolina did so much to strengthen 
our forts and improve the discipline and spirit of the troops 
that the public men of the State asked for his return in every 
time of peril, until it became the custom of the General com- 
manding to send him to his department south of the James 
when all was quiet on the Potomac, and recall him to the 


command of his division in the field when active operations 
were resumed. 


His first connection with the army of Northern Virginia 
was when, early in December, 1861, he was ordered to report 
to General Johnston at Manassas, and was assigned to com- 
mand at Leesburg on the left of the line. While he was sta- 
tioned there an incident occurred which evinced the strength 
and warmth of General Hill's affection for his early friends, 
even in the Federal army. General Stone was in charge 
of the force on the opposite side of the river, and after writing 
an official letter sent under flag of truce. General Hill ap- 
pended a postscript to the effect, that, if the fortunes of war 
should place his old academy chum in his custody, he should 
feel more inclined to take him into his own tent than to con- 
sign him to prison. This led to the interchange of several 
kind messages appended to similar communications. Un- 
fortunately Stone was a pronounced Democrat and, like 
McClellan, was unwilling to recant or repent. Seizing upon 
this excuse Stanton arrested him on a charge of disloyalty 
and gave him no opportunit}'' to vindicate himself till the 
close of the war, when he resigned and spent his last days 
in command of the army of the Khedive of Egypt. 

On the night of the battle of Gaines' Mill, Major Glitz and 
General Reynolds, old army comrades of General Hill, were 
brought as prisoners to his quarters. He received both very 
kindly and sent for a surgeon to dress Major Clitz's wound, 
while he comforted Reynolds, who was mortified at being 
caught asleep, by reminding him that his gallant conduct 
in Mexico and on the border would protect his good name 
from a shade of suspicion. Both were placed in an ambu- 
lance, paroled to report to General Winder at Richmond, and 
furnished with the address of a friend of General Hill's who 
would honor their drafts for money. These incidents are 
reproduced because they bring to view traits of General Hill's 
character of which the w^orld generally knows so little, his 
warm sympathy for suffering and his lasting and unswerving 
fidelity to his friends. 



From the moment when Johnston placed Hill, then a 
Major General, at the head of a division in March, 1862, till 
the last shock of arms at Bentonsville, Hill's position on 
every march and in every battle, with scarcely a single 
exception, was the post of danger and honor. Plis was the 
first division of Johnston's army to enter Yorktown and the 
last to leave it and pass with his command through the 
reserve line. When the vanguard of the enemy led by Han- 
cock rushed upon our rear at Williamsburg, it was Basil C. 
Manly, of Ramseur's Battery, who seeing that a section of 
the enemy's light artillery might beat him in the race to 
occupy an earthwork midway between the two, unlimbered 
on the way and by a well directed shot disabled the enemy 
in transitu, and quick as thought limbered up again and ran 
into the fortifications. It was the regiment of Duncan K. 
McRae, of D. H. Hill's Division, that extorted from the gen- 
erous and gallant Hancock that memorable declaration, "The 
Fifth North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia deserve 
to have the word immortal inscribed on their banners." It 
was this charge which Early describes as "an attack upon 
the vastly superior forces of the enemy, which for its gal- 
lantry is unsurpassed in the annals of warfare." 


When McClellan moved his army over Bottom's bridge, 
threw a heavy column across the Chickahominy and extended 
his line towards the north of Richmond, General R. E. Lee 
was then acting as advisory commander of all of the armies 
of the Confederacy. He concurred with Mr. Davis in the 
opinion that McClellan should be attacked on the other side 
of the Chickahominy before he matured his preparations for 
a siege of Richmond (1 Rise and Fall, p. 120). When General 
Lee communicated their views to General Johnston he told 
General Lee that his plan w^as to send A. P. Hill to the right 
and rear of the enemy and G. W. Smith to the left Hank 
with orders to make simultaneous attacks for the'purpose of 
doubling up the army, and sending Longstreet to cross at 
Mechanicsville bridge and attack him in front. McClellan's 
line on his right was not then well fortified, and the general 
disposition of the Federal forces was more favorable for a 
Confederate advance than a month later, when General Lee 


concentrated a heavy force on the left and turned it. After 
McDowell's movement to Hanover Court House, when his 
vanguard was checked by Branch, the blows stricken by 
Jackson in such rapid succession in the valley had excited 
apprehension so grave in the mind of Mr. Lincoln that 
despite McClellan's protest, he ordered the withdrawal of that 
command to Fredericksburg for the protection of AVashington 
City. For reasons that were unsatisfactory to the President, 
General Johnston after marching and countermarching G. W. 
Smith's and Longstreet's divisions, abandoned his first plan 
of operations and ordered the troops to assume substantially 
their original positions. President Davis in his work "The 
Rise and Fall of the Confederacy," takes the ground that 
after wailing a week and giving McClellan the opportunity 
to fortify, operations should have been delayed another day 
till the Chickahominy had risen high enough to sweep away 
the bridges and till Huger had had time to move up his 
artillery from his position near Richmond. 

Tiie popular impression that the bridges across the Chicka- 
hominy had alread}^ been swept away when the fight at 
Seven Pines began on the 30th of May, 1861, is totally 
unfounded. The corps of Heintzelman and Keyes were then 
south and that of Sumner north of the Chickahominy. The 
plan outlined V)y General Johnston was, briefly, that Huger 
should move from his camp near Richmond early on that 
morning down the Charles City road and vigorously attack 
the enemy's right, and Longstreet and Hill moving on the 
same road should attack the center and left of the force south 
of the bridge, while G. W. Smith's corps should advance on 
the Nine Mile road and turn the left; of Heintzelman and 
Keyes if Sumner should not have arrived, or engage and pre- 
vent the junction of his with the other corps, if he should 
cross. Longstreet and Hill were in position to attack at an 
early hour, but waited till ten o'clock for the arrival of 
Huger, whose division except two regiments of Rhodes (which 
created a diversion by a vigorous attack on the right) did 
not arrive in time to participate in the action. Our failure 
to destroy an enemy who, by a concerted movement in the 
forenoon, would have been utterly routed and driven from 
the field or captured, was, as is universally conceded, one of 
the most palpable blunders of the war, but the question, 
upon whose shoulders the blame rests, still confronts us. 
No engagement of the war has given rise to more acrimoni- 
ous censure and crimination than Seven Pines. Mr. Davis, 


General Johnston, General Longstreet, General Smith and 
General Huger, have each in turn discussed the conduct of 
both the active and passive leaders of that memorable day. 

The future historians who shall make up for posterity their 
verdict upon the controverted points as to the battle of Seven 
Pines will find one fact admitted by all of the disputants: 
that D. H. Hill was the hero of the occasion, and with his 
own gallant division, aided by two of Longstreet's brigades, 
drove the enemy in confusion from the breastworks and 
turned their own guns upon them as they retreated. Long- 
street, who was in command on the right, generously said in 
his report: "The conduct of the attack was left entirely to 
Major General Hill, The success of the affair is sufficient 
evidence of his ability, courage and skill." Commenting 
upon the language of Longstreet, President Davis said: 
"This tribute to General Hill was no more than has been 
accorded to him by others who knew of his services on that 
day, and was in keeping with the determined courage, vigi- 
lance and daring exhibited by him on other fields." 

General Johnston's language was not less unequivocal in 
according to Hill the credit of making a very gallant and 
the only successful attack upon the enemy's works, when he 
said in his report: "The principal attack was made by Major 
General Longstreet with his own and Major General D. H. 
Hill's division — the latter mostly in advance. Hill's brave 
troops, admirably commanded and most gallantly led, forced 
their way through the abattis which formed the enemy's 
external defences and stormed their entrenchments by a 
most determined and irresistible rush. Such was the man- 
ner in which the enemy's first line w^as carried. The opera- 
tion was repeated with the same gallantry and success as our 
troops pursued their victorious career through the enemy's 
successive camps and entrenchments. At each new position 
they encountered fresh troops and reinforcements brought 
from the rear. Thus they had to repel repeated efforts to 
retake works which they had carried, but their advance was 
never successfully resisted." 


On the 31st of Ma}'', 1862, General R. E. Lee was assigned 

to the command of the army in place of General Johnston, 

who had been painfully wounded on the previous day, and 

immediately addressed himself to the arduous task of pre- 



paring for the decisive encounter, which could not be long 
delayed. His "exhibition of grand administrative talent 
and indomitable energy in bringing up that army in so short 
a time to that state of discipline which maintained aggrega- 
tion during those terrible seven days fight around Rich- 
mond " (says Colonel Chilton) was " his greatest achievement." 
The order of battle in the memorable seven days fight 
required A. P. Hill, when Jackson should pass down in rear 
of Mechanicsville, to cross at Meadow's bridge and drive the 
enemy so as to enable D. II. Hill to pass over the bridge at 
that village. 


In obedience to messages from General Lee and President 
Davis, General Hill, after crossing, went forward with the 
brigade of Brigadier General Ripley to co-operate with the 
Division of General A. P. Hill. At the request of Brigadier 
General Pender, Hill directed Ripley just at dark to act in 
concert wdth that dashing officer in the effort to turn the 
enemy's position at Ellison's Mill and drive him from it. 

The desperate charge across an open field in the face of a 
murderous fire, in which that brave soldier and nobleman, 
Colonel Montford S. Stokes of the First North Carolina Regi- 
ment, fell mortall}^ wounded, was neither planned by General 
Hill nor executed under his directions. (Official Records, 
Series l,Vol. XI, Part 2, p. 623.) The suggestion that General 
Hill deliberately and unnecessarily rushed those gallant men 
into danger is unfounded and unjust. The galling fire that 
had broken Pender's left called for immediate action, and in 
the hurry of the moment it became necessary to develop 
the strength of the enemy's position by assault instead of 
reconnoissance, but under the orders of General Lee and the 
President, not of General Hill. 


When, on the second day, Jackson, had effected a junction 
with Lee, Hill w^as selected to relieve his tired troops by 
passing rapidly to his left and turning the extreme right of 
the enemy. A. P. Hill, Longstreet, Whiting and Jackson 
had successively moved upon the double lines of infantry 
and artillery posted on a range of hills behind Powhite 
creek from the McGehee to the Gaines house. The approach 


of the attacking columns of A. P. Hill and Whiting was in 
part over a plain about 400 yards wide and was embarrassed 
by abattis and ditches in front of the first line. The strug- 
gle along the front of these divisions and that of Longstreet 
had become doubtful, and almost desperate, when the troops 
of Jackson and Hill created a diversion by engaging the 
extreme right of the enemy. The first of the lines of en- 
trenchments had been taken, and Longstreet, Hood, Laws 
and other brave leaders, were moving on the last stronghold 
in the enemy's center, when the victorious shouts of Gar- 
land's and G. B. Anderson's brigade of Hill's division were 
followed by the rapid retreat of the enemy, and the surren- 
der first of the ridge at the McGehee house and then of their 
whole line. Thus did it fall to the lot of Hill once more to 
strike a decisive blow at a critical moment. But claiming 
for him this distinction among a host of heroic commanders, 
it is proper that I should rely on the evidence of the lamented 
Garland, who sealed his devotion to the cause with his 
heart's blood at South Mountain, and the corroborating 
accounts of Hill's superiors from Jackson to President Davis, 
not upon my own assertion. 

" The effect of our appearance at this opportune moment 
upon the enemy's flank, cheering and charging (said Gar- 
land in his report), decided the fate of the day. The enemy 
broke and retreated, made a second stand, wdiich induced 
m}^ immediate command to halt undercover of the roadside 
and return the fire, when charging forward again we broke 
and scattered them in every direction." This discomfiture 
uncovered the left of the fortified line and left no obstacle 
between Hill and the McGehee house. (Series 1, Vol. XI, 
Part 2, p. 626, of Oflficial Records.) 

General Jackson's language is not less unmistakable: 
"Again pressing forward the Federals again fell back, but only 
to select a position for more obstinate defence, when at dark — 
under the pressure of our batteries, which had then begun 
to play with marked effect upon the left, of other concurring 
events of the field and of the bold and dashing charge of Gen- 
eral IliWs injaniry, in which the troops of Gen. C. S. Winder 
joined — the enemy yielded the field and fled in confusion." 
Of the part taken by Hill, General Lee said in his report 
(Series 1 , Vol. XI, part 2, p. 493, Official Record), " D. H. Hill 
charged across the open ground in his front, one of his regi- 
ments having first bravely carried a battery whose fire enfi- 
laded his advance. Gallantly supported by the troops on his 


rigid, who pressed forward with unfaltering resolution, he 
reached the crest of the ridge (above the McGehee house), and 
after a sanguinary struggle broke the aiemj/s line, captured 
several of his batteries and drove him in confusion towards the 
Chickahominy until darkness rendered further inir suit impossi- 
ble:' As Mr. Davis (2 Rise and Fall, C. G., p. 138) adopts 
the exact language of General Lee, it is needless to repro- 
duce it a second time. General McClellan refers to the 
report of Fitz John Porter, who was in command, for a 
detailed account of the affair at Gaines' Mill. Porter admits 
that the withdrawal of his line was caused hy the retreat on 
his right, but insists that the demoralization was due entirely 
to the stampede of the Federal cavalry, who were mistaken, 
as they fell back on the infantry line, for rebels. More candid 
or better informed than General Porter, the French Princes, 
who served on his staff on that day, admit that the charge 
of Hill and the discomfiture of the enemy's right necessita- 
ted the abandonment of their line of entrenchments. If to 
double the right flank of an ai my suddenly back so as to expose 
to an enfilade the flank of his last and strongest line of en- 
trenchments is to make his position untenable, then Hill's 
charge was indeed decisive of the struggle at Gaines' Mill. 

Crossing the Chickahominy on the night of the 29th in 
the advance of Jackson's corps, D. H. Hill passed Savage 
Station where he took 1,000 prisoners, exclusive of 3,000 in 
and connected with the Federal hospital. The progress of 
Jackson was arrested by obstructions and the stubborn resist- 
ance at White Oak swamps, and he failed to effect a junction 
with Longstreet till after the fight at Frasier's farm. 


D. H. Hill was again the first to reach and occupy the 
position which he was ordered to assume preparatory to a 
general advance on Malvern Hill. The other parts of the 
line were not formed till a much later hour in the day. 
General Lee S'lys in his report of the battle (Series 1, Vol. 
XI, part 2, p. 496, of Official Records): " Orders were issued 
for a general advance at a given signal, but the causes 
referred to prevented a proper concert of action among the 
troops. D. H. Hill pressed forward across the open field and 
engaged the enemy gallantly, breaking and driving back his 
first line; but a simultaneous advance of the other troops not 
taking place, he found himself unable to maintain the ground 


he had gained agaiust the overwhelming numbers and 
numerous batteries of the enemy. Hill was therefore com- 
pelled to abandon a part of the ground he had gained after 
sall'ering severe loss and inflicting heavy damage upon the 

Prompt, vigilant and obedient, he was always at his post 
at the appointed hour, and with the true conception of sol- 
dierl}'^ duty moved upon order or signal of his superiors with- 
out waiting to count the cost. At Malvern Hill, as at Seven 
Pines, he charged the enemy under orders from the com- 
manding General. The persistent pluck of his brave men, 
developed to the highest degree by his own unequalled cool- 
ness and courage, enabled him again to take and hold much 
of the enemy's outer line till after the last gun was fired. 

When Pope had twice been punished by Jackson and 
driven back upon the supposed stronghold at Manassas, the 
transfer of troops from the Federal army on the Peninsula 
made it necess iry for General Lee to move with the bulk of 
his army to the support of his dashing Lieutenant, who had 
already twice defeated an enemy much stronger numerically 
than himself. D. H. Llill, recalled from the command of his 
department south of the James, including his own State, 
and placed at the head of his old division, was ordered to 
watch and check the movements of McDowell's command, 
which was still occupying Fredericksburg, and consequently 
took no part in the second battle of Manassas. 


Crossing over the Potomac with Longstreet to Frederick- 
town, Maryland, when our forces moved from that point 
south. General Hill was ordered to occupy and hold a pass 
in the South Mountains, which, if gained by McClellan, 
would have enabled him to relieve Harper's Ferry and possi- 
bly to prevent the junction of our scattered army and destroy 
the divisions in detail, or drive them precipitately south of 
the Potomac with great loss of artillery and transportation. 

General Lee's object in crossing the Potomac east of the 
Blue Ridge, afterwards avowed (Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 1, 
p. 145), was to induce the enemy, by threatening Washington 
and Baltimore, to evacuate Martinsburgand Harper's Ferry, 
to establ'sh his own line of communication through the val- 
ley, and then by advancing towards Pennsylvania to draw 
the enemy away from his own base of supplies General 


Lee had not contemplated making a stand at South Moun- 
tain — probably not at Sharpsburg, or at any point north of 
the Potomac. But the continued occupation of Martinsburg 
and Harper's Ferry made it necessary to move directly upon 
the former place and to invest the latter, where both garri- 
sons ultimately united. In consequence of the delay in 
reducing the garrison it became esseatial to the safety of 
Lee's army that McClellan's entire force should be held in 
check for a whole day at the pass in the South Mountains 
by Hill's depleted division, now numbering only 4,000, as a 
glance at the map with a knowledge of the disposition of 
Lee's different divisions will show. 

Longstreet with his whole force, estimated at 4,000, was at 
Hagerstown, while Jackson had disposed his own command, 
including McLaws' and A. P. Hill's divisions, either with a 
view to an attack on Harper's Ferry or to cutting off the 
retreat of the force occupying it. Three days later McClellan, 
according to his own report, advanced to the attack at Sharps- 
burg with 87,000 men. Of this vast army probably 33,000 
were in the force actually engaged in the assault upon the 
little Spartan band of D. H. Hill for five hours without cessa- 
tion before Longstreet's advance brigade arrived at 3:30 and 
was followed by others coming up from that time till dark. 
The late Justice Ruflin, the Colonel of the 13th North Caro- 
lina, standing by the side of the gallant Garland when he 
was instantly killed, discovered a moment later that the 
other regiments of the brigade had retired, leaving his com- 
mand surrounded by the enemy. Facing to the rear in an 
instant he ordered his regiment to charge, and embarrassed by 
a painful wound, performed the desperate feat of cutting his 
way through the serried ranks of the enemy. A few moments 
later that gallant officer was astonished to hear his intrepid 
commander express his delight at the discovery that McClel- 
lan's whole army was approaching his front. (2 Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War, p. 564.) The explanation after- 
w'ards given was one that could have been safely disclosed 
only to a kindred spirit, such as Ruffin had shown himself 
to be. Hill then said that he had at first feared the move- 
ment upon his front was a feint, and that the main body of 
the enemy had passed through another gap and might be 
thrown between Jackson and Lee. The situation was still 
further embarrassed by the fact that General Stuart had at 
daylight in the morning withdrawn his command, except 
the single regiment of Rosser, which afterw^ards did its duty 


so nobl}'^, under the impression that but a small force was in 
General Hill's front. 

It was " with the stern joy " of an intrepid warrior waiting 
for the coming contest, that from an elevated pinnacle of the 
mountain he saw the four advance corps of the grand army 
of the Potomac, one of which was forming at the foot of the 
mountain. The hour and the man had met when Lee 
entrusted to Hill the duty of holding the approach against 
that army with his little band of 4,000. From Seven Pines 
to Malvern Hill they had never turned their backs upon the 
foe. They believed that their leader would require them to 
endure no sacrifice or face no danger that was not demanded 
b}'' the inevitable exigencies of the situation. With God's 
help, Hill determined to save the army, as his chief ordered 
him to do at any sacrifice, and, if the emergency had demanded 
his own life, he would have met death, not as the decree of 
fate but as the Providence of God, who had brought him face 
to face with a desperate duty. Captain Seaton Gales, the 
gallant Adjutant General of George B. Anderson on that 
memorable day, has summarized the important results of 
this battle so clearly that I prefer to reproduce his language 
rather than use an extract from report or history or to make 
a vain attempt to improve upon it myself. 

Of this battle " it may be safely said that in its conse- 
quences, in the accomplishments of pre-determined objects, 
and in the skilful disposition of small numbers to oppose 
overwhelming odds, it is without a parallel in the war. The 
division, unaided until a late hour in the afternoon, held in 
check the greater portion of McClellan's vast army, endeavor- 
ing with battering-ram impetus to force its way through the 
narrow gap, and thereby afforded time for the concentra- 
tion of our various corps dispersed in strategic directions in 
season for the bloody issue at Sharpsburg." 


Imbued with an earnest devotion to the cause, which rose 
on occasion to the height of enthusiasm, Hill did not hesi- 
tate to denounce in unmeasured terms those who evaded 
duty in our armies, when the conditions were such as to 
plainly demand the active service of every able-bodied son 
of the South. One of his random shots at the bomb-proofs 
of the Confederacy wounded a gentleman who, having done 
nothing in the war worthy to he written, determined to write 
something in the vain hope that it would be read by future 


generations. Prompted by petty revenge, he recklessly 
asserted that General D. H. Hill had thrown a copy of a 
general order upon the ground in his camp at Frederick 
City, which being afterwards picked up and handed to Mc- 
Clellan, gave him an idea of the movements and location of 
the different portions of Lee's army. 

If this order had been literally carried out, it will appear 
from an inspection of its contents that on the day when Mc- 
Clellan attacked Hill at South Mountain, he had reason to 
believe, and must have thought, that Longstreet was occu- 
pying the mountains, suj>ported by Hill. But we are not 
left to conjecture on that subject. McClellan wrote General 
Franklin from Frederick City- on the 14th. just after he had 
read the " Lost Order" (Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 1, p. 45, of 
Official Records), that Longstreet was to move to Boons- 
borough and there halt wi;h D. H. Hill, and directed Franklin 
to make his dispositions with an eye both to the relief of the 
garrison at Harper's Ferry and the capture of Longstreet and 
Hill. The plan outlined in the letter is predicated upon 
the supposition that Longstreet and Hill were together and 
constituted the main body of an army, which he estimated 
in another report to General Halleck at 120,000. If it were 
not manifest from this letter that McClellan was misled by 
the order, and his opinion corroborated by the skilful dispo- 
sition of Hill's troops (?ee 2 Battles and Leaders of Civil 
War, pp. 559 to 581), his report proves beyond all question 
that he thought the force in his front was 30,000 strong, 
composed of Hill's division, 15,000, with Longstreet's and a 
portion of Jackson's command. (Report of McClellan, Series 
1, Vol. XIX, part 1, p. 55, of Official Records.) The skill of 
Hill, then, and the order combined to mislead McClellan by 
causing him to overestimate our strength, and the cautious 
and dilatory movement, which gave Longstreet time to come 
up in the afternoon, enabled Hill to escape with his little 
band, leaving the whole army of the Potomac deployed 
before him. 

The order issued by Lee and sent out from army head- 
quarters was as follows (Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 2, p. (iOi): 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

Septfinber 9, 186'2. 
Special Orders, No. 191. 

I. The citizens of Fredericktown being unwilling, while overrun by 
members of this army, to open their stores, in order to give them confi- 
dence, and to secure to officers and men purchasing supplies for benefit 
of this command, all officers and men of this army are strictly prohibited 


from visiting Fredericktown except on business, in which case they will 
bear evidence of this in writing from division commanders. The Provost 
Marshal in Fredericktown will see that his guard rigidly enforces this 

II. Major Taylor will proceed to Leesburg, Va. , and arrange for trans- 
portation of the sick and those unable to walk to Winchester, securing 
the transportation of the country for this purpose. The route between 
this and Culpeper Court House east of the mountains being unsafe will 
no longer be traveled. Those on the way to this army already across 
the river will move up promptly, all others will proceed to Winchester 
colUciively and under command of officers, at which point, being the 
general depot of the army, its movements will be known and instruc- 
tions given by commanding officers regulating further movements. 

III. The army will resume its march to morrow, taking the Hagers- 
townroad. GeneralJackson's command will form the advance, and, after 
passing Middlecown, with such portion as he may select, take the route 
to Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and by 
Friday morning take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Kiilroad, 
capture such of them as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as 
mav attempt to escape from Harper's Ferry. 

IV. General Longstreet's command will pursue the main road as far 
as Bjonsborough, where it will halt, with reserve, supply and baggage 
trains of the army. 

V. General McLaws, with his own division and that of General R. H. 
Anderson, will follow Gr>neral Longstieet. On reaching Middletown will 
take the route to Harper's Ferry, and by Friday morning possess him- 
self of thp Maryland Heights and endeavor to capliue the enemy at 
Harper's Ferry and vicinity. 

VI. Gent^ral Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object 
in which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cneek's Ford, 
ascend its right bank to Lovettsville, take possession of the Loudoun 
Heights, if pAicticable, by Friday morning. Key's Ford on his left, and 
the road between the end of ihe mountain and ihe Potomac on his light. 
He will, as far as practicable, co-operate wiih General M'Liws and 
Jackson and intercept retreat of the enemy. 

VII. General D. H. Hill's division will form the rear guard of the 
army, pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, 
ordnance and supply trains, etc., will precede General Hdl. 

VIII. General Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany 
the commands of Generals Longstreet, Jackson and McLaws. and with 
the main body of the cavalry, will cover the route of the army, bringing 
up all the stragglers that may have been left behind. 

IX. The commands of Generals Jackson, McLaws and Walker, after 
accompli-hing the objects for which they have been detached, will join 
the main body of the army at Boonsborough or Ilagerstown. 

X. Each retiiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in the 
regimental ordnance wagons, for use of the men at their encampments, 
to procure wood. etc. 

By command of General R. E. Lee. 

Assi.stant Adjutant General. 


On page 42, part 1, Vol. XIX, Series 1, of Official Records, 
McClellan says, ''The following is a copy of the order re- 
ferred to " : 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

September 9, 1862. 
Special Orders, No. 191. 

The army will resume its march to morrow, taking the Hagerstown 
road. General Jackson's command will form the advance, and after 
passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the rcute 
to Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and by 
Friday night, take possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, cap- 
ture such of the enemy as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as 
may attempt to escape from Harper's Ferry. 

General Longstreet's command will pursue the same road as far as 
Boonsborough. where it will halt with reserve, supply and baggage 
trains of the army. 

General McLaws. with his own division and that of General R. H. 
Ander.-on, will follow General Longstreet. On reaching Middletown he 
will take the route to Harper's Ferry, and by Friday morning possess 
himself of the Maryland Heights and endeavor to capture the enemy at 
Harper's Ferry and vicinity. 

General Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object in 
which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cheek's Ford, 
ascend its right bank loLovettsville. take possession of Loudoun Heights, 
if practicable, by Friday morning, Key's Ford on his left, and the road 
between the end of the mountain and the Potomac on his right. He 
will, as far as practicable, co-operate with General McLaws and General 
Jackson, in intercepting the retreat of the enemy. 

General D. H. Hill's division will form the rear guard of the army, 
pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, 
ordnance, supply trains, etc , will precede General Hill. 

General Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany the 
commands of Generals Longstreet, Jackson and McLaws, and with the 
main body of the cavalry will cover the route of the army and bring up 
all stragglers that may have been left behind. 

The commands of Generals Jackson, McLaws and Walker, after accom- 
plishing the objects for which they have been detached, will join the 
main body of the army at Boonsborough or Hagerstown. 

Each regiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in the regi- 
mental ordnance wagons, for use of the men at their encampments, to 
procure wood, etc. 

By command of General R. E. Lee. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

If Pollard's malignant charge, made to detract from the 
honor and glory of an achievement so brilliantly executed 
and so fruitful of benefit to the cause, were not shown by the 
most direct proof fro4n the most honorable men to be false 
and unfounded, the marked discrepancy between the order 
published in the Official Records as No. 191, copied from 
General Lee's book of general orders, and that which McClel- 
lan declared in his report to be a copu of the order sent by 


him to Washington, suggests to a legal mind a solution of 
the dispute which corroborates in the strongest possible 
manner the sworn testimony of Major James W. Ratchford, 
Adjutant General of Hill's Division, that the custody of such 
papers was a part of his exclusive duty at that time, and 
that no such order was delivered to him, with the solemn 
statement of General Hill that he never saw or read a copy 
of the order in question, except one purporting to have been 
sent through General Jackson, to whose corps he was attached 
when it was issued, and which he still preserved among his 
private papers in 1886. It will be observed that the fir^t of 
the two paragraphs, omitted in what purports to be the copy 
of the order that fell into the possession of the enemy, forbade 
the troops stationed around Frederick City from entering 
that town without permission, and the second directed that 
the sick and disabled of the army should be removed to Win- 
chester. Halleck's correspondence with McClellan on the 
sime day, September 13, 1862 (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 
XIX, part 1, p. 41), evinces the greatest apprehension that 
the movement of the army was aimed at Washing!on City, 
and the demonstrations higher up the Potomac were intended 
to distract attention from the real design. Was it not more 
important that the chief officer of all the armies should know 
that Lee's sick and disabled soldiers were to be moved to 
Winchester as the "general depot of the army," and that 
all recruits returning, or coming for the first time to the 
army were to rendezvous at \N'inchester, than to learn from 
the last paragraph of the copy sent him that Lee's troops 
were to habitually carry in their regimental wagons axes to 
cut wood, &c? The second paragraph seemed plainly to 
indicate that Lee's purpose was what he afterwards declared 
in his report to have been his plan — to establish his base of 
operations by way of the valley of Virginia and invade or 
threaten Pennsylvania, not Washington, after taking Har- 
per's Ferry. (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 1, p. 
145.) This was McClellan 's own idea of Lee's design, and 
if he could have convinced Halleck of the correctness of his 
views, there would have been no reason for further hesita- 
tion about weakening the garrison of the Capital City to 
swell the effective force in tiie field. McClellan d d not get 
the whole order and omit a portion of it in his correspond- 
ence at the time because it tended to sustain his view against 
Halleck. He did not send his chief the full copy of his 
order, and omit in his report, written after his removal from 


command, a section which proved that he (not Halleck) hid 
divined Lee's purpose from the beginning. The two para- 
graphs would not have been omitted in a copy intended for 
Hill, because it was Hill's troops that at the time were sta- 
tioned nearest to Frederick City, «nd were prohibited from 
entering it. It is evident that General Lee must have sent 
the whole order to Hill, therefore, and it is equally m mifest 
that McClellan had every reason for inserting a full copy in 
his report if he received it. 

Tne explanation which readily suggis^.s itself, therefore, 
is that ths original drafc of the order contained only the 
p3rLion b?ginning with the third section and was signed in 
that shape by Colonel Chilton, but was afterwards modified 
so as t) preti.x: the two first paragraphs before it was issued. 
" T.i'e lost order'" was found by an Indiana soldier wrapped 
around three cigars. (2 Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
War, p. 603.) The first paper drawn would have become 
useless after the material additions made to it, and might 
well have b^en wrapped around cigars by some one at Gen- 
eral Lee's headquarters with the purpose of using it to light 
them and then lost before cigars or paper were disp^seil of 
asiii^eided. It will b 3 more readily believed that a clerk 
or assistant in the office at army headquarters might have 
been guilty of carelessness than that Ratchford swore, and 
Hill told, a falsehood. If their positive stitemenls are 
believed, but the one order addressed as though sent through 
General Jackson's headquarters was received by General 
Hill. When Lee and Hill were encamped in sight of each 
other near Fredeiicktown, and General Lee was then and 
afterwards (as at South Moun'ain) habitually sending orders 
direct to General Hill, it does not seem probable that Lee, 
whose forte was the power of readily mobilizing his army, 
would have tolerated such circumlocution as making one 
courier ride across the Potomac to Jackson with an order, 
which was to be sent back by another messenger to a camp 
in sight of its starting point on the next day. It would have 
been a fair compromise between extreme official courtesy 
and that common sense which always characterized the con- 
duct of our great leaders, if he had recognized General Jack- 
son's authority by addressing the order as though transmitted 
through him, while conforming his conduct to the condiiions 
which demanded that Hill should know at the earliest pos- 
sible moment of his proposed plan of operation, and of the 
prohibition apjTying to his own and Longstreet's divisions 


only against entering the neighboring town without a permit 
from division headquarters, by ordering its delivery direct 
to him. 

The direct testimony bearing upon the dispute in refer- 
ence to the lost order was the sworn statement of Major 
James W. Ratchford, Adjutant General, that but the single 
copy of the order reached him, which was preserved by Gen- 
eral Hill till his death, and the solemn statement of Hill 
that he himself received no other copy. Leaving out of 
view the difference between the original paper recorded in 
Lee's book and the supposed copy delivered to McClellan, 
there is nothing to contradict the testimony of one of the 
bravest and truest officers in the army of Virginia and the 
word of D. H. Hill. The attention of these two officers had 
been called to the loss of the paper within a few months 
after it passed into McClellan's hands, when all that had 
occurred in Maryland was still fresh in their memories, and 
they then made the same statement that the one reiterates 
to-day and the other published in 1886. Lee himself charged 
no particular person with the loss of the dispatch. While 
he possibly magnified (says Longstreet in his article in the 
Ctntury Magazine) its effect upon the Maryland campaign, 
he was inclined to attribute its loss to the fault of a courier. 
(2 Battle and Leaders of the Civil War, p. 674.) In his 
report of the operations in Maryland, he said (Official Records, 
Series 1, Vol. XIX, part 1, p. 145), " The small command of 
General Hill repelled repeated assaults of the Federal army 
and held it in check for five hours." The only contradict- 
ing testimony comes from Major Taylor of General Lee's 
s'aff, and being negative in its character, is not entitled to 
the weight that should be attached to the positive evidence 
of gentlemen of equal reputation for veracity. The substance 
of his statement is, that it was his habit during that cam- 
paign to send such orders directly to the headquarters of 
Hill's division as well as through Jackson to Hill. But he 
neither recalls the fact of sending the particular paper in 
question, nor names any officer or courier who attests its 
actual delivery. Admiiting the high character of Taylor, as 
well as Ratchford, the verdict of history, under the most 
familiar rules of evidence, must unquestionably acquit Hill 
of negligence, and accord to him the high honor of saving 
the army of Lee by his strategy, coolness and courage. 



At Sharpsburg,tlie last, as in every previous engagement, 
in which D. H. Hill participated with that army, no figure 
was more conspicuous and no line firmer than his. As usual 
he was the first to open and the last to quit the fight. General 
Lee said in his report (Series 1, Vol. XtX, part 1, pp. 249, 
150): "The attackr'on our left was speedily followed by one 
in heavy force on the center. This was met by part of 
Walker's division and the brigades of G. B. Anderson and 
Rhodes of D. H. Hill's command, assisted by a few pieces of 
artillery. The enemy were repulsed and retired behind the 
crest of a hill, from which they kept up a desultory fire. At 
this time, by a mistake of orders, General Rhodes' brigade 
was withdrawn from its position during the temporary 
absence of that officer at another part of the field. The 
enemy immediately passed through the gap thu5 created and 
G. B. Anderson's brigade was broken and retired. General 
Anderson himself being mortally wounded. * * * Xhe 
heavy miss3s of the enemy again moved forward, being 
opposed by only four pieces of artillery, supported by a few 
hundred men belonging to different brigades, rallied by 
General D. H. Hill and other officers, and parts of Walker's 
and R H. Anderson's commands, Colonel Cooke of the 27th 
North Carolina regiment, of Walker's brigade, standing 
boldly in line without a cartridge." At this critical moment, 
when the enemy was advancing on Cooke, says General 
Longstreet, "A shot came across the Federal front plowing 
the ground in a parallel line, then another and another, each 
nearer and nearer their line. This enfilade fire was from a 
battery on D. H. Hill's line, and it soon beat back the attack- 
ing column." (2 Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, p. 670.) 

On the right General Lee was stationed in person, and with 
Toombs' brigade (says General Longstreet) held the enemy 
in check till A. P. Hill's division rushed to the rescue with 
Pender on the right and Branch on the left of his line, and 
aided by well directed shots from a battery planted by D. H. 
Hill on his front, drove them back in confasion. (2 Battles 
and Leaders of the Civil War, p. 670). Generals Lee, Long- 
street and D. H. Hill, concluded during a short suspension 
of musketry fire to reconnoiter the position of the enemy 
from the crest of a ridge in front of the Confederate line, 
which was formed behind a fence. Lee and Longstreet giving 
General Hill a sufficiently wide berth, went out on foot, while 


Hill rode. In a few moments, says Longstreet, he was 
making vain and rather ludicrous efforts to dismount from 
the third horse killed under him in that engagement, the 
legs of the animal having been cut off at the knees by a 
cannon ball. When Major Ratchford, who himself was never 
known to quail in the face of the foe, but whose affection for 
his friend was unbounded, said to him on this occasion: 
"General, why do you expose yourself so recklessly? Do you 
never feel the sensation of fear?" General Hill replied, that 
he would never require his men to go where he did not know 
the ground or would not go himself, and that, he had no fear 
of death, if he met it in the line of duty. His friend then 
inquired if he would not rather live than die. "Oh, yes," 
said General Hill, "when I think of my wife and babies I 
would ; but God will take care of them if he allows anything 
to happen to me." 

When, in November, 18G2, Hill's division was ordered to 
take the lead in the march to Fredericksburg to meet Hooper, 
a large UAimber of his men had been barefooted since the 
return of the army from Maryland, yet he accomplished the 
unusual feat of marching 200 miles in twenty days without 
leaving on the way a single straggler. One of the remark- 
able features of the battle of December 13th, 18G2, near 
Fredericksburg, which followed this sudden transfer of the 
seat of war, was the fact that D. H. Hill's division, Jubal A. 
Early's and most of John B. Hood's, were in the reserve line. 
It was evidence of an easy victory, that the services of three 
such fighting men were not needed in front. 


In February, 1863, Hill bade a final adieu to his old divi- 
sion, when he was ordered to assume command in the State 
of North Carolina. Before the campaign opened in the fol- 
lowing Spring, Hill had made a demonstration against New- 
bern, followed by an advance upon Washington in this 
State, which would have resulted in the capture of the latter 
place but for Lee's order to send a portion of his command 
to Virginia. 

Later in the Spring of 1863 Hill was ordered to remove 
his headquarters to Petersburg, and placed in command of 
the department extending from the James to the Cape Fear. 
When Lee invaded Pennsylvania, the citizens of Richmond 
and the heads of the various departments became greatly 


alarmed for the safety of the place. The officers in charge 
of the defences of the city and of the Peninsula had failed to 
inspire confidence in their vigilance, efficiency or capacity. 
When the troops of Dix began to move up the Peninsula 
from Yorktown and West Point, General Hill was ordered 
by the President to transfer all available troops from the 
south of the James and assume command of the forces gath- 
ered for the defence of the capital city. With the brigades 
of Cooke and M. W. Ransom, and a few other regiments, 
General Hill met the army of Dix near Bottom's Bridge, 
drove them back without serious difficulty in the direction 
of West Point, and in two or three days restored perfect con- 
fidence on the part of the panic-stricken people of the cit3^ 


About the 10th of July, 1863, President Davis called at 
General Hill's quarters three miles east of Richmond, and 
after many kind and complimentary comments ,g.ipon his 
conduct as an officer during the preceding year, informed 
him that he was appointed a Lieutenant General, and would 
be ordered to report forthwith to General Joseph E. Johnston 
near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Orders having been issued 
accordingly, on the 13th of July General Hill with his staff 
set out immediately for his new field. When he reached his 
home in Charlotte he was notified that his destination had 
been changed, and he would report fjr duty to General 
Braxton Bragg at Chattanooga. 

Lieutenant General I). H. Hill found the army of Bragg 
encamped along the Tennessee river in and around the small 
town which has since assumed tlie proportions of a city. 
Colonel Archer Anderson, chief of Hill's staff, in his able 
address upon the batUe of Chickamauo;a, says : " The corps of 
Hardee had lately gained as a commander a stern and daunt- 
less soldier from the army of Northern Virginia in D. H. 
Hill, whose vigor, coolness and unconquerable pertinacity in 
fight had already stamped him as a leader of heroic temper. 
Of the religious school of Stonewall Jackson, his earnest con- 
victions never chilled his ardor for battle, and in another 
age, he would have been worthy to charge with Cromwell at 
Dunbar with the cry, ' Let God arise and let his enemies be 

Hill received from Bragg the warm welcome of a comrade 
who had seen his metal tried on the hard-fought fields of 


Mexico. Not less cordial was the greeting of his old class- 
mate, A. P. Stewart, and of the plucky Pat. Cleburne, who 
seemed from the first to feel that he had found a soldier- 
affinity in the congenial spirit of Hill. When at last the 
scattered hosts had concentrated and confronted each other 
on the Chickamauga, it was not till after the night of the first 
day that Bragg made public his purpose to give the entire 
management of the riglit wing to Polk and the control of the 
left to Longstreet. If the enemy's left under the stalwart 
Thomas could be driven from the Lafayette road, the com- 
munication with Chattanooga would be cut oft' and the 
retreat and ruin of the enemy inevitable. To accomplish 
this end Bragg seemed more intent on hurried than concen- 
trated effort. That grand man, officer and statesman, John 
C. Breckenridge, at his own request was allowed to take the 
extreme right, flanked by Forrest and supported in this for- 
ward movement b}^ Cleburne on the left. Stewart, having 
been transferred to Buckner, these two divisions constituted 
Hill's corps. In rear of the line from which Breckenridge 
and Cleburne moved to the attack, at nine in the morning, 
on the last decisive day, was the corps of the old veteran 
known as "Fighting Bill" Walker, and as eager for the fi ay 
as a school-boy for frolic. His command was composed of 
his own and Liddell's divisions, embracing six brigades led 
by such dashing soldiers as Ector, Gist and Walthall. But 
the first lesson learned b}' a staff officer, who went from the 
east to the west, was that even an old war-horse like Walker 
dared not to fire a gun or move an inch, acting upon his own 
best judgment, without an order brought with due formalit}^ 
through all of the regular channels. The Virginia Brigadier 
struck his blows where opportunity offered and reported to 
his superior that he was striking. The western Brigadier lost 
his opportunity to strike waiting for permission to do so. Still 
behind Walker stood Frank Cheatham with his splendid 
division, like their leader, chafing under restraint. 

Such were the dispositions in Hill's rear when the impetu- 
ous charge of Breckenridge's two right brigades broke the 
left of Thomas and crossed the fateful road. With 2,000 
infantry and a battery of artillery Breckenridge swung his 
line around at a right angle to that of the enemy and started 
to sweep down upon their flank ; but the left of Breckenridge 
had encountered an earthwork, as had Cleburne's whole 
line, and their western foe standing firm, one or two brigades 
gave w^ay. Another advancing line to fill the gap and the 


day would be won before noon, and the enemy driven across 
the Tennessee or captured before night. In vain might Hill 
plead or Walker swear, when no orders came and no chief 
could be found to give them. Chafed and disappointed the 
grand Kentuckian found himself for want of support at last 
exposed to destruction or capture, and slowly and stubbornly 
both he and Cleburne fell back and reformed, but much 
nearer to the enemy than the line from which they advanced. 
Scarcely had the decimated forces of Hill reformed, when, all 
too late, Walker went forward with another single line, to be 
hurled back by the fresh troops that the enemy was rapidly 
massing on his left to meet the design now developed by our 
ill-managed movement. Cheatham, meanwhile, was not 
allowed to budge an inch or fire a gun. Thus was the plan 
frustrated and the attacking force driven back and cut to 
pieces in detail for want of a present, active-moving head to 
strike with the two arms of the right wing at one time. The 
fierce onslaught of Hill failed, as did the no-less impetuous 
charge of Walker, because as a chain is no stronger than its 
most defective link, so a single advancing line is no stouter 
than its weakest point. 

The splendid conduct of our troops on our right and the 
dread inspired by Breckenridge's bold charge of the morn- 
ing, bore fruit, however, in a way entirely unexpected, when 
it led the enemy to mass so much of his force behind Thomas. 
This was the occupation of the enemy while Hill and Forrest 
were riding up and down in front of our line and drawing 
the fire of the enemy upon the young troop who followed at 
their heels, and when there was a temporary lull in front of 
Longstreet on the left and left center. 

At last the thunder of artillery and the roar of musketry 
again burst upon us from along the whole front of the Vir- 
ginia Lieutenant, while Hill in vain sent messenger after 
messenger to beg that three lines be formed and a general 
advance ordered on the right as well as on the left. Just 
before night General Polk permitted Hill to take charge of 
the forward movement of the three lines. Walker in front, 
his own corps composing the second and Cheatham the third. 
The advance of our attacking column on the left, before that 
time steady, now became impetuous, and with a momentary 
wavering of a brigade on the right, we rushed over the 
breastworks of Thomas and caught 5,000 prisoners in the 
angle, where Longstreet and Hill met, as they had on many 
hard-fought fields before, to discuss the events of that day 


and prepare, as tliey had hoped, for a still more eventful one 
that was to follow. But a short time had elapsed when they 
were joined by Forrest impatient for orders to pursue the 
flying foe. When some hours had been passed in the vain 
effort to learn where the headquarters of the commanding 
general were located, Longstreet and Hill agreed to divide 
the responsibility of ordering the immediate pursuit by 
Forrest, with an assurance that they would ask the privilege 
of pushing forward to his support at early dawn. 

Unable by tiie most diligent inquiry to open communica- 
tion with Bragg till the next afternoon, they failed to secure 
for Forrest the inftintry support that would have swept the 
single division, of Thomas out of the gap on Missionary 
Ridge, or flanked and captureii,it without another obstruc- 
tion in the road to Chattanooga and on to Nashville. Such 
might have been the fruits of our victory, which being lost 
by delay, the last hope of the tottering Confederacy to regain 
the prestige and restore the confidence lost at Gettysburg 
and Vicksburg was gone forever. 


Scattered along tlie face of Missionary Ridge, waiting for 
the enemy to make Chattanooga impregnable, and then 
uniting the forces of Grant and Sherman with the reor- 
ganized army of Thomas to overwhelm them, were the dis- 
heartened Confederates, daily growing weaker from the 
desertion of men whose homes were exposed to devastation 
by the Federals. 

It was at this juncture that Buckner drew, and Polk, Long- 
street, Hill, Buckner, Cleburne, Cheatham, Brown and other 
Generals signed and sent to the President, a petition stating 
that the Commanding General had lost the confidence of the 
army, and asking that he be transferred to another com- 
mand and replaced by a more acceptable leader. Hill was 
the last of the Lieutenant Generals consulted, but, unfor- 
tunately for his future, his headquarters were located at a 
central point, on the line and the paper was left there to be 
signed. Cheatham and Cleburne met at that point and put 
their names to the paper at the same time. After the battle 
at Murfreesboro, Bragg had addressed letters to the chiefs of 
divisions in his army, asking whether he retained the confi- 
dence of the troop?, and intimating a willingness to resign 
if he had lost it. Breckenridge, Cleburne, and one or two 


others, promptly answered that they thought he couhl no 
longer be useful in the position he occupied. The corre- 
spondence led to an open breach between Bragg and Breck- 
enridge and a newspaper controversy, in which each charged 
upon the other the responsibility of our failure at Murfrees- 
bjro. Ganeral Breckenridge, in a conversation with the 
speaker, stated that his reason for declining to sign the paper 
was, tint his opinion of the Commanding General was known, 
and, as their relations were already unfriendly, his motives 
might be misconstrued. 

No better illustration of the prevailing opinion among the 
higher officers, as well as the rank and file of the army, in 
reference to the efficiency of the Commanding General can 
be given than the substance of a conversation between Cheat- 
ham and Cleburne, as they joined in a social glass after 
signing the petition. " Here are my congratulations upon 
your recovery from your bad cold," said Cleburne. " I have 
had no bad cold," said Cheatham. "Let me tell you an old 
fable," replied Cleburne. "The report had been circulated 
among the beasts of the forest that the lion had a bad breath ; 
whereupon, as king, the lion summoned all to appear and 
admitted them to his presence one by one. As each would 
answer upon smelling his breath that it was bad, the lion 
would devour him. When at length the fox was brought 
in, he replied to the question that he had a bad cold and 
esc.iped. You had a bad old when you wrote Bragg after 
the battle of Murfreesboro that you didn't know whether he 
still retained the confidence of the army. You hsive at last 

Hill cherished no unkind feeling toward Bragg, and at 
the time reluctantly reached the conclusion that it was his 
duty to join his comrades in urging his removal, hoping that 
it might still be within the range of possibility to find a 
leader like Jackson, who could overcome superior numbers 
by vigilance, celerity and strategy. 

Mr. Davis was induced to believe that Hill was the origi- 
nator and most active promoter of the plan to get rid of 
Bragg as a chief, and both the President and General Bragg 
determined to visit the whole sin of the insubordination of 
the inferior officers of that army on him. His name was not 
sent to the Senate for confirmation as Lieutenant General, 
and the repeated efforts of Johnston, backed by many of his 
subordinates, to have Hill returned to the command of a 
corps, were refused up to the last campaign of Johnston in 
North Carolina. In response to repeated demands made 


upon Bragg and the Adjut:mt for a court of inquiry to report 
upon any ciiarge or crilicisni that the latter might make, 
Hill at last received the answer that there were no charges 
to be investigated. 

But it is due to the memory of General Hill that the world 
should know how thoroughly he retained the confidence, 
respect and admiration of the officers and men of the army, 
which Bragg left after the next fight, never to rejoin till he 
found Hill on the soil of his own State leading its reduced 
regiments in their last forlorn charge against their old foe. 

The following letters, for which he did not ask, but which 
he treasured as testimonials of his relations to his troops to 
the day of his death, are submitted for the first time for the 
vindication of his memory against the suspicion of negli- 
gence, inefficiency, incompetency or infidelity to his trust as 
commander of a corps : 

Headquarters Cleburne's Division. 
Mission Ridge, October 9, 1863. 

General — In your departure from the army of Tennessee, allow me to 
offer you my grateful acknowledgments for the uniform kiodness that 
has characterized all your official intercourse with my division. Allow 
me also to express to you the sincere regard and higli confidence with 
which in so sliort a time you succeeded in inspiring both myself and, I 
believe, every officer and man in ray command. 

It gives me pleasure to add that now though your connection with this 
army has ended you still retain undiminished the love, respect and con- 
fidence of Cleburne's division. 

Respectfully your friend, 

Major General. 

Dear General— 1 have just learned officially that you have been relieved 
from command in this army and ordered to report to Richmond. 

I cannot see you go away without sending you, in an unofficial and 
friendly note, the expression of mv sincere regret at our separation. It 
has the merit of at least being disinterested. I saw you for the first 
time on my way to this array from Mississippi, when my division became 
a part of your corps, and I have had more than one occasion to express 
my admiration for your fidelity to duty, your soldierly qualities and your 
extraordinary courage on the field. 

It may gratify you to know the opinion of one of your subordinates, 
and to be assured that, in his opinion, they are shared by his division. I 
am, General, 

Very truly your friend. 

Major General. 


Headquarters Corps Army of Tennessee, 

October 15, 1863. 

■ My Dear General — Your note of to-day is received. I am surprised 
and grieved to learn that you have been relieved from duty with this 
army. We have stood side by side in so many severely contested battle- 
fields that I have learned to lean upon you vrith great confidence. 

I hope and trust that you may find some other position vphere your 
services may be as useful as they can be here. * * * 
Very truly and sincerely yours, 


Headquarters Clayton's Brigade, 
Near Chattanooga, 3 November, 1863. 

Lieutenant General D. H. Hill — Returning to my command a few 
days ago, I regretted to learn that you had left the command of our 
corps, and that I had not the opportunity of telling you farewell. 

I have been in the military service since the 6th of February, 1861, 
and I have never been lyider a commander to whom I and my command 
formed so strong an attachment in so short a space of time. In the camp 
we were not afraid to approach you, and on the field you were not afraid 
to approach us and even go beyond us. This feeling was universal 
among privates as well as otficers and to a greater degree than I have 
ever known towards anyone except perhaps General Stuart. Those who 
have been in the military service and been frozen to death by a different 
class of officers alone know how fully to appreciate this. 
Your friend and obedient servant, 

[Signed.] H. D. CLAYTON. 

Headquarters Polk's Brigade. 
October 16, 1863. 

General— In behalf of myself and brigade, allow me to express to you 
our high appreciation of your uniform kindness in all of your official 
intercourse with us, and to say to you that although you have not been 
long with us, you have gained our love, confidence and respect. And 
that it was with great regret that we heard of your being taken away 
from us. And in being so taken away our confidence in you as a soldier, 
gentlemen and patriot has not been in the least diminished. We part 
with you, General, with the greatest regret, and hope some new field 
may be given you for the display of that generalship that led us to vic- 
tory at Chickamauga. 

Respectfully your friend, 

[Signed.] L. E. POLK, 

Brigadier General. 

Headquarters Low^ry's Brigade, 
Mission Ridge, October 16, 1863. 
Dear General— Paragraph 2, Special Order No. 33, from Army Head- 
quarters, relieving you from duty in this department has just been 
received by me. I take this opportunity to express to you my deep 
regret at this change. So far as I have heard an expression from the 
officers and men of this corps, your service with us has been most satis- 
factory. In the camp and on the march your orders were received and 
obeyed with the most cordial approval and with the greatest pleasure. 
The warm devotion that has been created in so short a time will not die 
while memory lives.. In behalf of my brigade permit me to express our 
regret on account of your sepiration from us, and the kin ie:3t wishes for 


your pi-osperity and happiness. For myself the memories of our short 
acciuaintance will be warmly cherished m a devoted heart of friendship, 
and the guidance and protection of the unseen hand invoked on you 
wherever your lot may be cast. 

May the glory of victorious fields form a wreath around your name in 
all time to come, and the memory of your deeds of gallantry and patriot- 
ism be cherished in the hearts of a grateful and free people. 
Respectfully, General, your obedient servant, 
[Signed.] M. P. LOWRY, Brigadier General. 

(Since Governor of Mississippi.) 

Long after the war General J. E. Johnston addressed the 
following letter to General Hill, from which it will appear 
that the influence of Bragg, who was at the elbow of the 
President as his military adviser, was still omnipotent after 
he was transferred from the west to Richmond : 

WashingtOxN, D. C, September 22, 1887. 
General D. H. Hill : 

Dear General — Your conduct at Yorktown and at Seven Pines gave 
me an opinion (of you), which made me wish for your assistance in every 
subsequent command that I had during the war. When commanding the 
army uf Tennessee, I applied for your assignment to a vacancy * * 
Yours very truly, 


It is but just to President Davis, as well as to General Hill, 
to state that there was good reason to believe that the former, 
in his last days, became convinced that General Hill was 
not the author of the petition, or the principal promoter of 
the plan for Bragg's removal, and that it dawned upon the 
great chieftain that the retention of Bragg w^as the one mis- 
take of his own marvellous administration of the govern- 
ment of the Confederacy. When Johnston and others criti- 
cised the President, General Hill, then editing a magazine 
that was read by every Confederate, indignantly refused to 
utter one reproachful word, even in his own vindication, 
because, as he said, the time-servers who had turned their 
backs on the Lost Cause were making him the scapegoat to 
bear the supposed sin of a nation. 



Misjudged, deprived of command and made to stand inac- 
tive in the midst of the stirring scenes of the last days of the 
Confederacy, Hill was not a man to sulk in his tent. Vol- 
unteering successively on the staff of his old friends, Beau- 


regard and Hoke, who appreciated his advice and assistance, 
he showed himself ever ready to serve the cause in any 

The repeated and urgent requests of both Johnston and 
Beauregard that Hill should be restored to command, re- 
sulted at last in his assignment to duty at Charleston, from 
which place he fell back with our forces to Augusta. 

When the remnant of the grand army of Tennessee reached 
Augusta in charge of Gen. Stevenson, Johnston ordered Hill 
to assume command and move in front of the vast and vic- 
torious hosts of Sherman. The greeting given him by the 
little bands of the old legions of Cleburne and Breckenridge 
now left, was a fitting tribute to an old commander whom 
they loved and admired. Hoping against hope, Hill was the 
leader above all others to infuse new spirit into the forlorn 
band devoted to this desperate duty. At every stream and 
on every eminence in his native State he disputed the ground 
with Sherman's vanguard till he developed a force that made 
it madness to contend further. Hill's reputation as a soldier, 
depends in nowise upon successful running. This final 
retreat was the first and last in which he took a leading part. 
When once more his foot was planted upon the soil of North 
Carolina, it w^as eminently fitting that he who heard the first 
victorious shouts of her first regiment in the first fight in 
Virginia, should lead her brave sons in the last charge of 
the grand army of the great west within her own borders. 
Again, as in the last onset of Cox at Appomattox, North 
Carolina soldiers stood the highest test of the hero by facing 
danger in a gallant charge when they knew that all hope of 
success was gone forever. 


The last years of General Hill's life were devoted to jour- 
nalism and to teaching. As the editor of The Land ive Love, 
and subsequently of T]ie Southern Llome, he wielded a trench- 
ant pen and was a potent factor in putting down the post- 
hellmn statesmen who proposed to relegate to the shades of 
private life the heroes and leaders of the Lost C; ise. As a 
teacher, he soon placed himself in touch with his pupils and 
won their love and confidence, as he did that of the soldiers 
led by him to battle. 

His opinions, whether upon political, religious \>c scientific 
subjects, were always the result of thought and study, and 


were expressed in terse and clear language. As a Christian, 
he constantly recurred to the cardinal doctrines of Christ's 
divinity and His complete atonement He wrote two religi- 
ous works, which evince at once his grace and force as a 
writer, and his unbounded trust in these fundamental truths. 
The subject of the one was The Sermon on the Mount; of 
the other, The Crucifixion. 

Unmoved in the presence of danger, schooled to hide his 
emotion for suffering in tlie critical time of battle, and forced 
by a sense of duty t > show his bitter scorn for cowardice 
and treachery, it was the exclusive privilege of his family, 
his staff and his closest friends to fathom the depths of his 
true nature. The soldiers who saw him on camp or field 
could as little conceive of the humble Christian who, in the 
long hours of the night, plead with his God to spare their 
lives and save their souls, as they could of the affectionate 
father, the loving husband, the sympathizing friend, and the 
bountiful benefactor of the poor and helpless, known only to 
the favored few. A writer who in his last days was admitted 
to the inner circle of his friends, has so beautifully expressed 
his idea of his true character that I cannot do better than 
reproduce it as not an overdrawn picture from the stand- 
jDoint of one who served on his staff, had free access to his 
home circle, and observed and studied his motives arid con- 

"Fancy a man in whom the grim determination of a vete- 
ran warrior is united to a gentle tenderness of manner which 
would not be niappropriaite to the most womanly of women; 
* * * ■ affix a pair of eyes that possess the most indisputa- 
bly honest and kindly expression; animate him with a mind 
clear, deep and comprehensive, and imbued with a humor 
as rich is deep and effective; infuse man a,nd mind with 
a soul which in its lofty views compels subordination of the 
material to the spiritual, and holds a supreme trust in the 
■\,^isdom and goodness of the Almighty — is zealous in the dis- 
charge of duty, and looks with scorn on all that is mean and 
sinful. Add to all these a carriage that is indomitable, and 
a love of truth and honor which is sublime, and you have 
the earthly embodiment of D, H. Hill." 



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